• Welcome to the Lightroom Queen Forums! We're a friendly bunch, so please feel free to register and join in the conversation. If you're not familiar with forums, you'll find step by step instructions on how to post your first thread under Help at the bottom of the page. You're also welcome to download our free Lightroom Quick Start eBooks and explore our other FAQ resources.
  • Are you ever disappointed with your photos? Do you get frustrated when you’re editing because you’ve been told to move certain sliders, but never been told WHY? Do you wish you could transform your photos without having to spend hours in front of the computer? In my new book, Adobe Lightroom - Edit Like a Pro, you’ll learn:
    • how to to analyze a photo like a pro, saving you hours of frustration.
    • WHY you might want to move specific sliders, instead of just following recipes.
    • what the sliders are doing behind the scenes.
    • how to use sliders together, instead of in isolation, so you can get the optimal result
    The book is based on the cloud-native Lightroom desktop and mobile apps, but the principles also apply to Lightroom 6 and Lightroom Classic. The sliders are arranged into slightly different panels, but there's an included PDF that shows you where to find them in Lightroom Classic/6.

Photographing Gold Coins - Losing Gold Lustre and Color

TexasPilot

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2015
Messages
70
Location
San Antonio, Texas
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
I am assisting a friend in photographing a few gold coins he has. We are achieving wonderful, exquisite, sharp detail but I can't seem to capture the gold color and lustre/shine.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Lightroom CC
Nikon D5500
Sigma 18-38 1.8 ART Lens

Thanks
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
22,631
Location
Isle of Wight, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
Can you show us an example?
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
16,250
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
The solution is going to probably involve different lighting and color calibration. How are you calibrating the monitor used with LR and how are you calibrating the screen or print used to view the resulting image?

What lighting sources are you using? How many and where are they placed in relation to the subject. Are they behind a diffuser?
Do the two coins in the attached image have the identical color on both sides?
 
Last edited:

TexasPilot

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2015
Messages
70
Location
San Antonio, Texas
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
The solution is going to probably involve different lighting and color calibration. How are you calibrating the monitor used with LR and how are you calibrating the screen or print used to view the resulting image?

What lighting sources are you using? How many and where are they placed in relation to the subject. Are they behind a diffuser?
Do the two coins in the attached image have the identical color on both sides?
Good Morning Cletus. Thank you for this reply and the many others you have made to my inquiries.

I used only one light - a florescent in a soft box so it was diffused a bit. I must admit that my AOC LED monitor is not calibrated. The images will be used online and not printed.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
16,250
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
Without a calibrated monitor, you can not be sure of rendering accurate color. Even if you calibrate your monitor, only your monitor is guaranteed to be accurate and no other where the JPEG might be viewed. Saving the JPEG to the sRGB color space is the best you can do.

I would try to shoot the image outside on a cloudy day where there are no harsh shadows and artificial light is not necessary. It appears that your camera is perpendicular to the subject and so is your lighting. I would try a shot with three soft boxes positioned at equal angles from the coins AND closer to being in the same plane as the coins and not perpendicular to the coin face. This would allow the luster to be reflected from the coin back to the camera. If I can figure out how to represent this, I'll try to draw a lighting diagram. The lighting needs to have a color temperature of at least 5500˚K. CFLs are probably best at this.

Do you have an explanation as to why the obverse and the reverse of the two coins pictured have such a different cast?
 

TexasPilot

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2015
Messages
70
Location
San Antonio, Texas
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Without a calibrated monitor, you can not be sure of rendering accurate color. Even if you calibrate your monitor, only your monitor is guaranteed to be accurate and no other where the JPEG might be viewed. Saving the JPEG to the sRGB color space is the best you can do.

I would try to shoot the image outside on a cloudy day where there are no harsh shadows and artificial light is not necessary. It appears that your camera is perpendicular to the subject and so is your lighting. I would try a shot with three soft boxes positioned at equal angles from the coins AND closer to being in the same plane as the coins and not perpendicular to the coin face. This would allow the luster to be reflected from the coin back to the camera. If I can figure out how to represent this, I'll try to draw a lighting diagram. The lighting needs to have a color temperature of at least 5500˚K. CFLs are probably best at this.

Do you have an explanation as to why the obverse and the reverse of the two coins pictured have such a different cast?
Hi Cletus:

I have gone back to "square one" and actually standardized and record what I did on three different sets (scientific method - what a concept, eh?)

Attached is one JPG of three different captures. All with the same conditions.

Lighting: Outside on a large, open on all sides patio (no clouds). No diffuser.
Nikon D5500 on tripod.
Nikon 40mm Marco Lens ( no zoom).
White Balance: x-rite color correction card to 18% grey (that really help more "gold" tone to show).

Top set: straight down (90 degrees perpendicular)
Middle set: about 5% off perpendicular
Bottom set: about 5% off perpendicular (this gave the best result as you predicted).

I will also have the time to set up the three lights as you suggested. I have the Fotodiox light set with the three lights. The lights with this set are the 70W Cool Daylight 5400K. I should be able to set this up as you suggest. Until then I have attached the latest.

Thanks -

Ed
San Antonio
 

Attachments

Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
16,250
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
I assume your Fotodiox Light set is similar to this:


I use something similar and have similar results.

For subjects the size of yours you can also use a light tent outdoors and no artificial lighting at all:


I think you are on track with your subject and further experimentation on your part with lighting and camera angles will ultimately yield photos that you and your friend are happy with.
 

Ian.B

Active Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2014
Messages
982
Location
Mildura, NW Victoria, Australia
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
I was going to suggest a light tent.
generally we need have two lights at 45 degree to the coins. that will reduce reflection
I have used a copy stand for the few coins I have photographed; and maybe used a polarizing filter.
This article might help you
Let us know you get on :)
 

TexasPilot

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2015
Messages
70
Location
San Antonio, Texas
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Celtus and Ian:

Just a quick update. I am continuing to refine the process. Hope to set up again today. Will post results.

Ed
 

TexasPilot

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2015
Messages
70
Location
San Antonio, Texas
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
OK, folks. Here is my latest effort on the gold coins.

Lightroom CC
Nikon D5500
Sigma 18-38 1.8 ART Lens
X-Rite Color Correction Passport.
ISO 100. 35mm (52 @1.5 crop). 1/80. f/5.0
Fotodiox 28" x 28" Studio In A Box - using only top light. (See image attached0

My friend who has been a coin dealer for 40+ years says this is "glossy-page" coin magazine quality.
 

Attachments

Ian.B

Active Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2014
Messages
982
Location
Mildura, NW Victoria, Australia
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
My friend who has been a coin dealer for 40+ years says this is "glossy-page" coin magazine quality.
good point; get a few printed onto glossy paper

quality looks OK ..... very good imo
 
Top